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Disagreeing with Scripture

Have you ever opened the holy scriptures looking for wisdom and something just doesn’t sit right?

Sometimes it’s because it’s exposing some deep uncomfortable truth within ourselves.

Other times, the ‘holy word’ seems flat out wrong.

For example I’ve been preaching through Nehemiah verse by verse over the past year, and while it’s an extraordinary book, it ends on a disappointing thud. Not only because the people of God have abandoned all they worked so hard for, but the human hero of the story, Nehemiah, was a let down in the end as well.

Nehemiah is brash and violent in the last chapter. He attempts to restore order through tearing some families apart and literally giving some men a beating while pulling their hair out (Mark Driscoll calls it a ‘scalping’ as if it was cool, but that’s another story). My NIV Men’s edition bible tries to redeem the end of this part of the story commenting on how Nehemiah was courageous in the end confronting sin.

I understand Nehemiah’s good intentions, but I disagree with how he handled the situation. You could call it sinful.

Are there passages in Scripture you personally disagree with? (I can think of plenty).

And what do you do about it?

Some folks like Brian Mclaren might argue we’re simply listening in on a collection of stories in human history, some emphasize Christ as hero, then there’s interpretative techniques like context, word analysis, descriptive vs prescriptive readings of the text… but still.

Are there particular moments where the Scriptures leave you hanging, unsatisfied, and shaking your head?

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Alan March 5, 2010, 12:46 pm

    I love this post. And I want to comment, but I don’t really know what to say!

    Something about how life and scripture is a messy, complicated affair. That the path to a transcending peace a la Philippians 4 is paved with blood and tears, bad choices and reasons. Something gray and deconstructive like that.

    • Lon March 8, 2010, 12:41 pm

      haha yes Alan – the messiness, and being able to wrestle with things (including god himself) is what makes it all the more worthwhile!

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